What TO DO and NOT TO DO When Buying a Bike for a Woman
Oh man, time is running short and you need to get a gift for that special lady (girlfriend, wife, sister, mother… mother-in-law)! What to get?!
Then, you think of it. The perfect gift is a brand new shiny bicycle! That way you can go on rides TOGETHER! You can see it now… the two of you, or maybe even the whole family, riding off into the sunset, smiling and giggling and happy.
You might be right. A bicycle might be just what she always wanted (whether it is an upgrade from what she has or her first new bicycle since she was 10 years old). But, before you go out and buy her the bike you THINK she wants and slap a huge bow on it, there are some things you need to know.
Here are the facts:
- You may think you know what she wants, but you really have no idea.
- She may actually want a different kind of bike than the bike you ride.
- Just because her favorite color is green, doesn’t mean she wants a neon green bike.
- Unless her entire wardrobe is pink and paisley, she probably doesn’t want the flower-power bike/kit combo.
- Listen, don’t tell! Let her tell you what she wants (she has probably already given a hint or two).
- There are some things that only a bike shop can help with, so you need to go together.
- When you go to the bike shop, don’t do the talking for her.
- If you have already bought her a bike, make sure she knows it’s not a done deal. If she doesn’t want to hurt your feelings and keeps the bike that she didn’t really want in the first place, she’s probably not going to ride it.
But don’t take it from us. We talked to the pros! Meet Annie from BFF Bikes, a women's-focused bike shop in Chicago, IL. Needless to say, she knows bikes and what women want.
What are some negatives of buying a bike for someone without them being there?
Bikes can be very personal, so it’s a bit of a gamble to pick something out for someone unless they have been pretty clear on what they like and want. Most people like to test ride several bikes to find the one they like the most and that whole process is left out when buying someone a bike. As a result, it’s possible the bike won’t fit them or the riding position may not be what they like. And aesthetics play an important role too—paint jobs and colors are important to women.
So, can you surprise a woman with a bike while still making sure she gets what she wants?
We've helped several people surprise their significant other while letting her still have final say in the bike. One time we helped a man surprise his wife by picking out a bike he was pretty sure she would like, and then he planned an outing that brought them near the shop so they just "randomly" decided to stop in. Then all of a sudden, we brought the bike out and he told her "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" But he said he wasn't sure if the bike he picked was the exact bike she'd want, so he told her to look around, test ride and they could swap it for something else if she wanted.
How can you help your partner get into cycling?
She has to want to ride. Many women will want to when they learn more about the variety of rides and groups that exists. Or, if she finds out about a good trail or event, she may be inspired to give it a try. People often feel more comfortable and excited to bike when they are among other newbies at the same riding level, so finding a good group can make a big difference. It's also important to make sure she feels comfortable on the bike and the route isn't going to make her feel unsafe.
What is the best gift to get for a woman who is new to cycling?
A good pair of shorts with a high-quality chamois and chamois cream is great for a new road cyclist, and something they often go without for a while. If they are commuting then a good set of lights and helmet are essential if they don't already have them. A nice warm cap, buff, and gloves make a great holiday gift.
What is the best gift for a woman who is already a cyclist?
Well, the ultimate gift for a cyclist is a bike that is an upgrade from what she currently rides. If a whole bike is not an option, then a nice set of wheels is a great way to upgrade the existing bike. Otherwise, a really nice piece of cycling apparel, like a new pair of bibs or a jacket would make just about every cyclist smile.
Bottom line? Visit your local bike shop and ask them questions! Shops that specialize in fit and women’s cycling have so much experience and would love to share it with you. Are you a woman who wants a bike? Drop a hint! Share this article with your partner!